The scale of silicosis
Silicosis is a nasty disease you get from working in mines, and with South Africa being particularly reliant on mining, it’s a massive problem. The mines are meant to compensate mine workers afflicted by diseases contracted on the job, but despite a law was passed in 1996 compelling the mining companies to take on the mantle, not one mine worker has seen that mythical compensation. In July, a large class action lawsuit finally bore fruit, with a R5 billion payout… but for whom? This is the story of how the legal firms rely more and more on technology, including machine learning and OCR, to deal with massive amounts of information that would have buried them a few years ago. It’s also a pretty good bit of data journalism, with Mail & Guardian’s Jacques Coetzee popping his data storytelling cherry.